LDWF News Release

LDWF’s Bodcau and Woodworth Shooting Ranges To Be Closed During Good Friday, Easter Sunday

Release Date: 04/13/2017

April 13, 2017 – The Bodcau and Woodworth Shooting Ranges will be closed Good Friday (April 14) and Easter Sunday (April 16) in observance of the holidays, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. Both will be open Saturday (April 15) for normal business hours.
The Bodcau Shooting Range is located on the Bodcau Wildlife Management Area in Bossier and Webster parishes. The Woodworth Shooting Range is located in Rapides Parish.
For more information on these and other LDWF ranges go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/shooting-ranges.


LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Release Date: 04/12/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has scheduled a drawdown of Lake Bistineau in Webster, Bossier, and Bienville parishes for giant salvinia control, organic reduction and fish habitat improvement. The water control structure is scheduled to open on May 1, 2017.
Giant salvinia is growing rapidly. Despite LDWF contractors treating over 5,000 acres since February 20, 2017, significant coverage is still present. The department estimates the plant covers 3,349 acres of the lake based on an aerial survey conducted on March 23, 2017.
The drawdown is designed to reduce the further expansion of salvinia as summertime temperatures promote maximum growth. Spray efforts are ongoing in areas of the lake that will not dewater during the drawdown. Intensive herbicide applications will continue during the drawdown in an effort to further reduce salvinia on the lake.
The lake should dewater at a rate of 4 to 6 inches per day and will be lowered to a maximum drawdown level of 8 feet below normal pool stage. The Lake Bistineau control gates are scheduled for closure on November 30, 2017, to allow the lake to refill for winter and early-spring recreational activities.
During the drawdown, an estimated 10,000 acres of water will remain in the lake. Boaters can access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch, Bossier Public Launch, Grice’s and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch. Boaters are advised to use caution during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions. 
This action is a necessary component of LDWF’s integrated management plan to control overabundant aquatic vegetation growth and to improve the Lake Bistineau sport fishery. An annual cycle of high and low water fluctuation can provide beneficial effects similar to a natural overflow lake system.
The current LDWF Lake Bistineau Management Plan can be viewed at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/waterbody-management-plans-inland
For additional information regarding the drawdown, contact Jeff Sibley, LDWF Biologist Manager, at jsibley@wlf.la.gov or (318) 371-3066. 


Agenda for Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force Meeting

Release Date: 04/12/2017

Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force
Meeting Agenda
13 Apri12017
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes from 12 January 2017 Meeting
IV. Introduction of Guests
V. Feedback from Annual Report submitted 1 February 2017
     A. Feedback from LDWF - Scott Durham
     B. Feedback from legislature - statement from Cole Garrett
     C. Feedback from LDAF - TBD
VI. Update and agency positions on Kaput (feral hog toxicant)
     A. LDAF representative - Kevin Wofford
     B. LDWF representative - Dr. Jim LaCour
VII. New Business
VIII. Public Comments
IX. Announcement of next meeting date - 13 July 2017
X. Adjournment



Happy Hatch Day: First Whooping Crane Hatched in Louisiana Since 1939 Turns 1 Year Old

Release Date: 04/12/2017

A photo from April 2016 of the first whooping crane chick hatched in Louisiana since 1939.
The first whooping crane chick hatched in Louisiana's wild since 1939 turned 1 year old April 11, 2017.

April 12, 2017 – It’s been one year since the hatching of a Whooping Crane chick in Louisiana, which marked the first time since 1939 of such an occurrence. To the delight of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists, the female bird is doing well.
The crane, hatched on April 11, 2016, makes its home in the crawfish and rice fields of Jefferson Davis Parish in southwest Louisiana. Its parents evicted the crane about two months ago but it lives not far from where they have re-nested this spring near the same spot where the chick hatched.
Under the direction of LDWF, the state is in the seventh year of a project to restore the majestic Whooping Crane, which can reach up to 5 feet in height and has a 7-8 foot wingspan. A total of 102 birds have been released in Louisiana since the project began in 2010 with 57 currently alive.
Whooping Cranes in Louisiana are designated as a non-essential, experimental population (NEP) under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation were developed to be more compatible with routine human activities, such as rice and crawfish farming, in the reintroduction area. The Whooping Crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by Louisiana state law.
The initial cohort of birds received in 2011 marked the first presence of Whooping Cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950.
LDWF has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Service, the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the International Crane Foundation to return the species to the state. Project funding comes from LDWF Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge funds, State Wildlife Grants Program and private/corporate donations, which are facilitated by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, along with additional partners. Chevron has been a major corporate donor in the program. 
LDWF biologist Sara Zimorski, who oversees the Whooping Crane project, said last year’s hatching was an important milestone in the endeavor. But the crane’s survival to its first year was a pleasant surprise, she said.
“The chick faced challenges in her first year,’’ Zimorski said. “A wing injury was a big concern for us. And being on her own, after separating from her parents, was another potentially risky time. But she’s doing well.
“The parents of this chick sent her off on her own because they were ready to nest again. And she’s adjusted. She’s in an area that provides excellent habitat and foraging opportunity. We’ve been extremely pleased with her progress.’’
The chick was one of two that hatched last spring to the same male and female. The other, however, died a month after hatching. Zimorski said that is common with Whooping Cranes as only one usually survives.
Anyone encountering a Whooping Crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance and to report their sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form).
Once abundant in Louisiana in the 1800s, the species dwindled to two in 1945 and had disappeared by 1950 from the state.
Whooping Cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to White Ibis, White Pelicans, and Wood Storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted Snow Geese. However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7-8 feet make them very distinctive. In flight, Whooping Cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.

Juvenile Whooping Cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.

Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving harassment or shooting of Whooping Cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. Citizen Observer, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.
Success of the Whooping Crane project is made possible through private and corporate donations. If you would like to support the Louisiana whooping crane project by making a tax deductible donation please contact Kell McInnis at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation at (225) 765-5100 or kmcinnis@wlf.la.gov or visit the foundation’s website at: http://lawff.org .
Additional information on LDWF’s Whooping Crane project is available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes or on the LDWF Whooping Crane Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lawhoopingcranes/?fref=ts). For more information, contact Sara Zimorski at szimorski@wlf.la.gov or 337-536-9400, ext. 4.


Gulf Council motion could lead to La.’s control over red snapper fisheries

Release Date: 04/10/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had a motion passed at the recent meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) that could eventually allow Louisiana the ability to manage the recreational red snapper fishery in federal waters in addition to state waters.

“This motion is a victory for all anglers fishing from Louisiana ports. If this amendment is approved, federal waters will no longer be off limits for large portions of the season,” said Jack Montoucet, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“The motion is in keeping with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ long-held support of state management of red snapper for the recreational angling community.”

“LA Creel is an integral part of our scientific data collection program and the cornerstone for passage of this motion,” Montoucet said. “Louisiana anglers will be rewarded for their efforts in making LA Creel one of the best data collection programs in the country.”

LA Creel is the harvest data program designed and implemented by LDWF to closely track the amount of fish caught by recreational anglers in Louisiana. It has been widely recognized by other states and the National Marine Fisheries Service as the best in the gulf and enables LDWF to manage fishing seasons in near real time.

The Gulf Council passed by an 11-5 vote the motion to begin the amendment to allow Louisiana the new powers at its April 6 meeting in Birmingham, Ala.

The Gulf Council will deliberate on the new amendment over the next year to refine the “Louisiana only” plan. Under this amendment, Louisiana would act as pilot for the other Gulf states. The amendment would only allow Louisiana control of the recreational red snapper fishery in federal waters adjacent to the state for three years (2019 through 2021). If the pilot is successful, a similar program could be implemented Gulf-wide. 

This action includes both the private angling and for-hire components of the recreational fishery.

The LDWF thanks the private anglers and for-hire fishermen who have taken the time to express their opinions at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meetings.  

Introduce Your Family to the Fun of Fishing at LDWF’s Family Fish Fest in Lake Charles

Release Date: 04/10/2017

Introduce Your Family to the Fun of Fishing at LDWF’s Family Fish Fest in Lake Charles

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) invites you to join us at our next installment of our Family Fish Fest series on Saturday, April 29 at Calcasieu Point Landing in Lake Charles, La. Everyone is encouraged to attend for a day of fun, fishing, educational activities and the chance to win great prizes.
Competitive divisions include Little Angler (ages 8 and under), Junior Angler (ages 9-15) and Adult Angler (ages16 and older). There are competitive categories for both shore and boat anglers. All participants must supply their own fishing equipment and bait.  
Little Caesars will provide lunch while supplies last. In addition, each registered participant will automatically be entered for the chance to win great raffle prizes. Pre-registration and event information are available online at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/family-fish-fest. The first 100 youth registrants will receive a fishing goody bag.
This event is made possible by local sponsors including Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, Little Caesars, Coca Cola, Press Start, L’Auberge, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Club Tabby, Putt Putt Lake Charles, Petro Bowl, Cinemark, Once Upon a Child, Elliott’s Cajun Snowball, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Texas Coffee Co., Rotolo’s, Lake Charles Children’s Museum, Creole Nature Trail and the Adventure Center.
Participants 16 and older must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. To purchase a fishing license online, visit https://www.la.wildlifelicense.com.
LDWF Family Fish Fest is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.
For more information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282. 

LDWF Hunter Education Recognizes Outstanding Volunteer Efforts During 2017 Instructor Workshop

Release Date: 04/07/2017

Todd Roberts award: (left to right) Eric Shanks, Phillip Manuel, Daniel Hurdle, Wayne Higginbotham
Individual Instructor Award: (left to right) Eric Shanks, Nicholas Hock, Chad Moore
Team award pictured from left to right: Eric Shanks, Danny Wallace, Louis Robinson, Joe Walters, and Karen Edwards (staff)

April 7, 2017 – Nicholas Hock, Phillip Manuel and the team of Louis Robinson, Danny Wallace and Joe Walters were among those honored during the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) 2017 Volunteer Hunter Education Instructor Workshop held in February at Camp Grant Walker near Pollock.
Hock, who instructs in Caddo and Bossier parishes, was recognized as an outstanding individual instructor, and Robinson, Wallace and Walters, were recognized for their team efforts in Franklin Parish.  Manuel was the recipient of the Todd Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.
Manuel has been a volunteer LDWF Hunter Education instructor for more than 15 years.  He partners with local fire departments, churches, Lions Clubs and LDWF to teach hunter education courses in four parishes.  He introduces students to LDWF’s Wildlife Management Area’s (WMA’s) through teaching courses at Sherburne WMA, encouraging use of our WMAs and will take new hunters small game hunting on multiple WMAs.  In his free time, Manuel is an avid squirrel and bird hunter, dog trainer and field trial judge.
Years of service awards were also given to qualifying instructors with more than five years as an active instructor in recognition of their dedication to the Louisiana Hunter Education Program.
Approximately 15,000 students annually are certified in the LDWF Hunter Education Program through more than 500 courses taught statewide. Volunteers trained to teach hunter education are crucial to the success of this program. The goal of Louisiana’s Hunter Education Program is to reduce hunting incidents by producing safe and responsible hunters.
Volunteer hunter education instructors were also provided an in service training session with updates on LDWF wildlife management activities, hunting incidents and issues affecting hunting and hunter education during the workshop. 
For more information about Louisiana’s Hunter Education Program, visit www.wlf.la.gov/hunting/hunter-education.                       


LWFC Approves Hunting Seasons, Hunting Regulations and WMA Rules for 2017-18

Release Date: 04/07/2017

April 7, 2017 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved the 2017-19 hunting season dates and 2017-18 general and Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) hunting rules and regulations at its April meeting Thursday in Baton Rouge.
The season dates approved include the 2018 turkey season and associated rules and regulations along with the 2017-18 migratory bird hunting season and rules and regulations.
The notices of intent presented in January by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for the upcoming hunting seasons were approved with amendments made subsequently in March.
The commission voted to approve two amendments to the Notice of Intent. The amendments read, in part:
·              Deer Area 8  - Change that portion in Allen Parish east of Louisiana Highway 113 from the parish line to U.S. Highway 190, north of U.S. Highway 190 eastward to Kinder, west of U.S. Highway 165 northward to Louisiana Highway 10 at Oakdale and south of Louisiana Highway 10 from Oakdale westward to parish line, and in Beauregard Parish that portion east of Louisiana Highway 113, and in Vernon Parish that portion east of Louisiana Highway 113 from the parish line northward to Pitkin and south of Louisiana Highway 10 from Pitkin southward to the parish line; to become a portion of Deer Area 3, with the same seasons as Deer Area 3, Except to include allowing hunting with or without dogs during the last segment of the Firearms Deer Season (Dec. 3, 2017-Jan. 8, 2018) within this new portion of Deer Area 3.
·              To expand the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Limited Access Areas on the Main Delta and Wax Delta approximately 25 percent. Access would be allowed within the active passes within those areas but once out of the passes, it reverts to limited access.
Changes from previous hunting seasons in the approved NOIs include but are not limited to:

·         Change in deer seasons in Deer Areas 4 and 10, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest. Also changing season limits in these areas from a limit of six (not to exceed three antlered or four antlerless), to a limit of three (not to exceed two antlered or two antlerless).
·         Change in deer seasons for Deer Area 7, eliminating bucks-only days, and changing the entire season to either-sex harvest while still maintaining the six deer season limit.
·         Modification to water level benchmark closure language to facilitate reopening the season at a lower level than the closure level in Deer Area 5.
·         Adding water level benchmark closure and reopening language for certain roads on Dewey Wills WMA.
·         Change in reporting time period for the validation of deer and turkey tags from seven days to 72 hours following harvest of deer or turkey.
·         Implementation of shot restrictions for dove hunters on WMAs and on LDWF leased dove fields, restricting shot to non-toxic shot, size 6 and smaller.
·         Removal of restrictions on weapons that can be carried by deer hunters for personal protection during primitive seasons on private lands. Hunters must still abide by primitive weapon rules as previously defined in Louisiana hunting regulations.
·         Addition of Small Game Emphasis Area to Pomme de Terre WMA.
·         Addition of available days of opportunity within the Small Game Emphasis Areas on Richard K. Yancey and Sherburne WMAs.
·         Addition of youth squirrel season on Pomme de Terre and Grassy Lake WMAs, to be held the fourth Saturday of September for two days.
·         Elimination of live transport permits for feral hogs during February hog dog seasons on WMAs.
·         Modification of opening day of statewide turkey season from the last Saturday of March to the first Saturday of April.
·         Modification of teal season to change from the last three weekends in September to the last 16 days of September.
·         Change in daily bag limit for pintail from two to one.
·         Change in youth age requirements for youth waterfowl seasons, from 15 years of age and younger to 17 years of age and younger.
·         Elimination of Experimental Quality Deer seasons on WMAs.
·         Adjustments to deer seasons on Bodcau, Bayou Macon, Boeuf and Dewey W. Wills WMAs.
·         Addition of opportunity for youth deer and squirrel hunting on Kisatchie National Forest.
To view the full notice of intent and all proposed hunting season dates and regulations changes for the upcoming hunting seasons, please visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/action-items.


LDWF Soliciting Red Snapper Public Comment

Release Date: 04/07/2017


As the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries continue to work towards a resolution regarding the management of red snapper, the LWFC invited representatives from the Louisiana commercial, charter and private sectors to their monthly meeting to provide input. Two representatives from each sector expressed their respective group’s concerns and comments on the topic.

The department urges Louisiana red snapper fishermen to voice their opinions and will continue to accept public comments on red snapper management via their website and email. Individuals interested in submitting a comment can visit the department’s homepage and navigate to the 'red snapper management' button, click here or email redsnapper@wlf.la.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.


Crab Task Force to Meet Tuesday April 11 at 1:00 p.m.

Release Date: 04/05/2017

Louisiana Crab Task Force Meeting

Pete Gerica, chairman

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

UNO Advanced Technology Center

2021 Lakeshore Dr., Room 210

New Orleans, Louisiana 70122




I.         Roll Call and Introduction of New Task Force Members and Guests

II.        Approval of February 7, 2017 Minutes and April 11, 2017 Agenda

III.       Financial Report

A.     Financial Disclosure Filing Reminder

         IV.         Old Business

A.  Update on the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program- Jeff Marx

B.         Update on the Joint Task Force Working Group Meeting- Warren Delacroix

V.         New Business

A.     Discussion of Crab Trap Clean Up Boat Registration-Paul Alfonso

B.     Discussion of Task Force Name Tags/ Email Addresses-Paul Alfonso

C.     Discussion of  Crab Marketing Opportunites- Thomas Hymel

D.     Discussion of Imported Crab Tariffs- Eric Blanchard

E.     Officer Elections

VI.         Public Comment

VII.         Set Next Meeting

VIII.         Adjourn


The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6999010917597021697

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.


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